Release: January 2, 2010
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Freshman center Pina Guillaume keyed an 18-0 second-half run with nine points and Binghamton (5-10) rallied from 15 down to defeat visiting La Salle (7-6) 66-61 Saturday afternoon from the Events Center.
La Salle led 48-33 with 13:49 remaining before the Bearcats began their big run. In the 18-0 run that spanned 5:17, Guillaume struck for nine points, including seven straight on a three-pointer and back-to-back jumpers in the lane. His final jumper gave BU a 49-48 lead with 8:51 to play.
The Explorers reclaimed the lead 53-51 with 6:27 left before junior forward Greer Wright took over. Wright, BU's leading scorer on the season (12.6 ppg.), converted a fastbreak dunk and gave the Bearcats the lead for good with a turnaround jumper with 4:44 remaining. Wright added a free throw and a driving layup during a 9-0 run that pushed BU's lead to 60-53 with 1:38. The Bearcats then made 6-of-9 free throws to hang on for the win.
"We beat a good team today ... because we are learning to be a good team ourselves," interm head coach Mark Macon said. "The second half was a testament to the way we can play. Now we want to play 40 minutes that way."
Playing without starting point guard Dylan Talley, who is nursing an injury, BU received a big scoring lift from the 6-foot-9 Guillaume, who netted a season-high 19 points to go with nine rebounds. Guillaume hit 9-of-12 shots including his second three-pointer of the season. His dunk with 1:38 left after BU had beaten the La Salle press gave the Bearcats some breathing room.
Wright tallied 20 points with nine rebounds and two steals before fouling out. Junior guard Chretien Lukusa produced 15 points and six assists and junior forward Moussa Camara contributed a key defensive play when he took a charge with 31 seconds remaining and BU clinging to a 63-59 lead. Camara then sank 3-of-4 free throws in the final 30 seconds to ice the game.
After trailing 37-27 at the break, the Bearcats shot a sizzling 63% in the second half and held their Atlantic-10 opponent to 6-of-24 shooting (25%).
"We're shellshocked right now," La Salle coach Dr. John Giannini said. "They played a good zone defense and we didn't knock down our shots. Binghamton did everything right during that second-half run."
The Bearcats open America East Conference play Thursday at Albany.
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